!!! The National Coordinating Committee for Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism (NCC), ministries, equivalent-ministries, domestic agencies, reporting entities, natural persons, legal persons, and relevant organizations must follow the procedures and methods for the withholding, freezing, or seizing of funds relating to money laundering and financing of terrorism, proliferation financing, and designated list of natural persons relating to terrorists or the financing of terrorism as defined in the Prime Minister's Order No 03/PM and 20/PM.
On September 12, 2022, The Mutual Evaluation (ME) on Anti-Money Laundering and Counter - Financing Terrorism (AML/CFT) visit took place at the Lao Securities Exchange Building in Vientiane, Lao PDR. This ME visit is the 2nd mutual evaluation of the Lao PDR conducted by the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) led by Ms. Erin Lubowicz, Deputy Executive Secretary of APG, APG secretariat and assessment team under the APG member jurisdictions from (Australia, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Thailand). At the opening session of the event was honored with the opening speech by H.E. Mrs. Vathana DALALOY, Deputy Governor of Bank of the Lao PDR with honorable attendance of various Deputy Ministers as the NCC members from 9 Ministries namely: Prime Minister Office; People Supreme Court (PSP); Office of Supreme People’s Prosecutor (OSPP); State Audit and Anti-Corruption Authority (SIAA); Ministry of Justice (MOJ); Ministry of Public Security (MOPS); Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) and Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) including Director Generals, Division Chiefs, AML/CFT designated working members from line-ministries, supervisors, reporting entities and representative from others associated sector more than 178 participants. This on-site visit is set to carry out from 12 until 23 September 2022. The Lao PDR took its 1st ever mutual evaluation in 2010 in which the result illustrated an unpleasant level of satisfaction with numerous deficiencies left pending that conduce to Lao PDR had been subject to increased monitoring process of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) or often externally referred to as a Grey list. With the consequence of such uncomfortable circumstances, the government of Lao PDR had strived its best effort to effectively address those identified deficiencies more closely, and as a result the Lao PDR had graduated itself to a regular follow-up criterion in 2017. Meanwhile, this on-site visit is the 2nd mutual evaluation of the Lao PDR that oftentimes the government pledges a high-level political commitment to this works and keeps a close eye on it, in order to ensure a well-prepared for this evaluation in both the country's legislative framework as well as the effectiveness of the implementation based on FATF standard requirement are met. Therefore, during the preparation process, the government and respective organization including private sectors have been spending an in-depth study and strong effort putting in place relevance AML/CFT legislation, regulation and measures required by FATF recommendation in their work where appropriate and ensure that such applied measures are fully practicable, including continuous dissemination the knowledge of AML/CTF to ensure the understanding of the people in the public to be aware of AML/CTF risk via social medias.
The handing-over ceremony on AML/CFT instruments supported by the Institute for Legal Support and Technical Assistance “ILSTA” to the Anti-Money Laundering Intelligence Office “AMLIO” was held on 23rd February 2022, attended by Madam Phengsy Phengmuong, Director General of the AMLIO, Mr Jonhn Connolly Director General of ILSTA, other Directorial Official and associated officers. Since 2015, the technical assistance and other AML/CFT capacity buildings have been provided by ILSTA to Lao competent authorities in various aspects for instance, a short-video maker on AML/CFT awareness, publication of AML/CFT law, brochures, banner-stand, T-shirt, bags and other stationeries. Moreover, ILSTA is also sponsored in English language competency enhancement for AMLIO employees, criminal proceedings officers and other reporting entities supervisors. Nevertheless, the assistance has also been extended to relevant line-ministries involving in the implementation of AML/CFT such as Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Public Security and other associated agencies.
To prepare for the upcoming mutual evaluation of the Lao PDR, the Legal and Mechanism Committee (Group 3) has conducted meeting which was held on 2nd February 2022 at the Bank of the Lao PDR chaired by H.E Kongchee YANGCHUE, Deputy Minister, Minister of Justice, the Head of Legal and Mechanism Committee (Group 3) and under attendance of representative from Legal Department, Ministry of Justice, the Planning and International Cooperation Department and International Organizations Department (MoFA), the Office of the Supreme People’s Prosecutor, the Interpol and the Legislation Department, Ministry of Public Security and AMLIO staffs. The objectives of the meeting was to report the current progress of the implementation and also discussion on work plan in order to prepare for the forthcoming 2nd mutual evaluation (on-site visit) focus on anti-money laundering and terrorist financing perspective to which anticipate to take place in early 2022. In the meeting, the participants have shown a high responsibility, delivered a frank advisory, and spent their best effort in finding a way to overcome issues arising. However, there are some pending work and challenges that need to be improved and addressed prior to the actual mutual evaluation taking place, especially in aspects of legal, internal coordination workflow among competent authorities associated with international mutual legal assistance, future implementation plan and other residual issues that links to the work. Upon the meeting, participants highlighted and perceived the essential of above-mentioned outstanding issues and pledged to engage their full capacity into the works in order to ensure constructive and effective outcome.
On 17th June 2021, Ms. Phengsy PHENGMUONG, Director General of the Anti-Money Laundering Intelligence Office (AMLIO) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Mr. Soulysak THAMNUVONG, Director General of the Payment Systems Department (PSD) of the Bank of the Lao PDR at the office of AMLIO. Honored and witnessed by Mr. Phouthaxay SIVILAY, Deputy Governor of the Bank of the Lao PDR including representatives from respective Departments within the Bank of the Lao PDR. The main objective of this signing is to enhance the cooperation between the AMLIO and the PSD in terms of the implementation of AML/CFT task, management and monitoring the payment systems of the Lao PDR, as well as increase responsibility for the cooperation of both parties. In addition, with an aim for the modern settlement in the banking system and avoiding from being used by perpetrator with respect to money laundering and terrorist financing purpose. At the same time, under this remark will also create a better working mechanism that could help the two parties to identify gaps that occur in each period without delay, and enable to put in place an appropriate solutions to cope with effectively.
On Thursday, 27th May 2021, Ms. Phengsy PHENGMUONG, Director General of the Anti-Money Laundering Intelligence Office (AMLIO) of the Bank of the Lao PDR signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with two financial intelligence units (FIUs) namely Australia-FIU and Bhutan-FIU. As per the current outbreaks of COVID-19 pandemic remains affecting the global movement, hence these signing ceremonies have been done in a form of distance signing platform in which each party first signs the MoU via diplomatic channel and soon after dispatch the signed MoUs via postal channels. The main objectives of the MoU signed are to strengthening and expanding collaboration to fight against perpetrator by sharing financial information concerning activity of money laundering and terrorism financing (ML/TF). Recently, AMLIO has signed MoUs with 16 foreign FIUs partners, and the negotiation of another MoU with potential foreign partners is underway. Over the past, Lao PDR entered into a member of the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) in July 2007 (rank 36th). To implement the AML/CFT task that meet international standard while preparing for the forthcoming second round of mutual evaluation (2021-2010). Therefore, the Lao government taking place various mechanism by issuing numbers of legislation on AML/CFT related, numbers of dedicated high ranking competent authorities have been designated as part of the ad-hoc national AML/CFT coordination committee (contains 13 ministerial level from diverse line-ministries) lead by Deputy Prime Minister of the Lao PDR to focus on the implementation of the 40 Recommendations of the International Financial Action Task Force, including the establishment of domestic and international cooperation mechanisms for the exchange of financial information to ensure the successful implementation of such work.
On 7 May 2020, the European Commission (EC) adopted a new regulation in relation to third countries with strategic deficiencies in their AML/CFT regimes that pose significant threats to the financial system of the Union. While Lao PDR were deleted from the 2016 version of the EU list of high-risk third countries (Commission Delegated Regulation EU 2016/1675) due to Lao PDR does not have strategic deficiencies in its AML/CFT regime anymore considering the available information.
The Asia-Pacific Anti-Money Laundering Group (Asia / Pacific Group on Money Laundering "APG") and the Anti-Money Laundering Intelligence Office (AMLIO) jointly conducted the preparation of ME workshop on the AML / CFT lead by the Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) during the period of 10 - 13 December 2019 in Vientiane, the Lao PDR. Honored the opening remarks by Ms. Khanthaly VONGXAYARATH, Deputy Director of AMLIO and Ms. Erin Lubowicz, Deputy Secretary General of APG, APG Representative, as well as advisor of the UNODC, Mr. Christopher BATT, Mr. Tom Hansen, Resident AML/CFT advisor, UNODC including the departments and technical official of the Prime Minister Office, the Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Finance, The People's Supreme Court Lao, The People's Supreme Court Lao, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and the Bank of Lao PDR and others associated sector. The main objective of this APG session is to assist the Lao PDR on its preparation for the upcoming mutual evaluation (ME) of the Lao PDR in 2020-2021. In particular focusing on the compliance of the 40 recommendations and 11 immediate outcomes set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), and to ensure the Laos competent authorities and other allied agencies who will be involved in the ME process especially those key players are totally perceived of the essential of this work and to guarantee they all on the right track. The visit involves the presentations of the ME preparation process including a small number of ME simulation exercise practice tests that designed to deliver competent authorities a better idea of what to expect during the on-site visit. Addition to that during the mission, Ms. Erin Lubowics also takes the opportunity to conducted the courtesy call to the high- level authorities in various ministerial who are the member of the National Coordination Committee (NCC) on AML/CFT namely the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Finance and the Bank of the Lao PDR to summarize the result of the preparation of the ME workshop.
The Australian Transaction Report and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) in partnership with The Anti-Money Laundering Intelligence Office (AMLIO) conducted an International Intelligence Fundamentals Course (IIFC) between 20-22 November 2019 in Vientiane. The purpose was to share basic knowledge to authorities from relevant law enforcement agencies for raising their understanding of the process, methods and techniques of intelligence analysis. Within this year, AUSTRAC has already conducted IIFC courses in several ASEAN countries, for example: Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, etc.
The Group 3 (Supervision) of Ad-Hoc Team on the 2nd Round of Mutual Evaluation on Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) of Lao PDR held the first penal meeting on November 18, 2019 at the Bank of Lao PDR, which chaired by Mr. Phouthaxay SIVILAY, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Lao PDR. The purpose of this meeting is to provide an overview and discussion on the preparation of the 2nd Round of Mutual Evaluation on AML/CFT of Lao PDR.
Anti-Money Laundering Intelligence Office (AMLIO) and the Indonesian Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (INTRAC or PPATK) organized a meeting on Egmont Group Membership Criteria Preparation between 4th - 6th November 2019, the purpose of this particular meeting is to assess relevant legislations, working procedure mechanism and also standard of information technology security system.
Participants from AMLIO and line ministries attended training course on standard of FATF in Busan, South Korea between 28 Oct -01 November 2019. The purpose of this training is to enhance understanding and effectiveness of implementing AML/CFT framework.
Anti-Money Laundering Intelligence Office (AMLIO), the Bank of the Lao PDR and in cooperation with ANZ Bank in Lao PDR Ltd took place the Workshop on “Managing Risks through an AML/CTF Program” to Commercial Banks, Financial Institutions and Supervisors on 24 October 2019 at Crown Plaza Hotel, which chaired by H.E. Jean-Bernard Carrasco, Ambassador of Australian Embassy to the Lao PDR; Mr. Rufus Pinto, ANZ Country Head and Mrs. Phengsy Phengmuong, Director General of AMLIO. The objective of this event is to raise awareness of Risk Management through the AML/CFT program. In addition, the Panel Discussion on current AML/CFT implementation in Lao PDR had also been held to updated on preparation to upcoming Mutual Evaluation 2020-2021, which included panelists from ANZ bank, Director General of AMLIO and Joseph Narus, Economic and Trade, United State Embassy, Lao PDR .
Anti – Money Laundering Intelligence Office (AMLIO), BOL and Department of land Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE), SOE Management Development and Insurance Department Ministry of Finance, Commercial Bank Supervision Department Bank of the Laos P.D.R and Investment Promotion Department Ministry of Planning and Investment corporate with Mr. Stuart and Mrs. Moni are Specialists Financial Sector in the last 21-23 October 2019 at Laos Securities exchange. The objective of this mission is to finalize the result of risk base analysis and review the complement of material mechanism in risk base analysis of 3 priorities sectors implementation to reduce the risks such as: Banking Sector, Insurance Sector, and Securities sector. The exchange questions in the meeting toward the implementation of supervisor casino unit to effective and consistent with international standard. Finally, AML will ready continue to the assessment in upcoming year 2020.
The Anti-Money Laundering Intelligence Office (AMLIO) of the Lao PDR held the workshop on “Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) and Risk-Based Approach (RBA) on ML/TF” for the Taking Deposit Microfinance Institutions (DTMFIs), The Non-Taking Deposit Microfinance Institutions (NDMFIs) and money remittance service businesses, on October 18, 2019 at LSX's building, which chaired by Ms. Khanthaly VONGXAYARATH, Deputy Director General of AMLIO. The purpose of this workshop is to enable reporting entities (REs) to understand their rights and obligations on AML/CFT, in particular, building on understanding in relation to reporting of Suspicious Transaction Report (STR) and Cash Transaction Report (CTR) via online system which has been developed by AMLIO for making reporting more convenience, security and prompt. In addition, REs are required to implement RBA on ML/TF and update their policies, principles, procedures or regulations in accordance with the criteria set forth by the AMLIO.
During 23-27 September 2019 in Singapore, AMLIO’s delegations participated “The fourth annual Compliance and Transparency Week” organized by British High Commission in Singapore. The purpose of this event was to share lessons and raise awareness of the task of implementing compliance and transparency for regional participants, especiallyCombat Financial Crime,Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Bribery and Corruption, Tax Evasion, RegTech, Sanctions/Terrorist Financing and emerging threats.
The Bank of the Lao PDR hosted the 1st Ordinary Session of the National Coordination Committee on AML/CFT on 21 st June 2019 at the Bank of the Lao PDR chaired by H.E. Somdy DUANGDY Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, which attended by its members, official from line ministries and AMLIO.
During 29th April to 3rd May 2019 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, AMLIO’s delegations participated workshop on the Multilateral Analyst Exchange Program- Analyst Hubbing Exercise under topic: “unregistered/hawala/suspicious remittance activities or transfers across the ASEAN region” organized by AUSTRAC; aims to achieve the following objectives: increased levels of pro-active analysis and information exchange between participating jurisdictions, enhanced understanding of FIU analysts on suspicious remittance activities including emerging methodologies between participating jurisdictions for use by domestic partner agencies, strengthened operational level cooperation between the participating jurisdictions to reflect enhanced regional cooperation.
The workshop on "Thailand-Chilean Joint Cooperation Project for ASEAN 2019 " hosted by Thailand International Cooperation Agency "TICA"), Chilean Agency for International Cooperation "AGCT" and Anti-Money Laundering Intelligence Office "AMLO" between 25-29th in Bangkok, Thailand. The purpose of the workshop is to enhance FIUs' knowledge and capacity regarding financial intelligence and strategic intelligence data analysis methods.
The workshop on International counter terrorism legal framework, and its international cooperation aspects, against the financing of non-State actor acquisition of biological, chemical and nuclear (BCN) weapons, and related IMO legal instruments hosted by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime “UNODC” and International Maritime Organization “IMO” between 5-8 February 2019 in Bali, Indonesia.
The Bank of the Lao PDR hosted the 2rd Ordinary Session of the National Coordination Committee on AML/CFT on 27th December 2018 at the Bank of the Lao PDR chaired by H.E. Somdy DUANGDY Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, which attended by its members, official from line ministries and AMLIO. The meeting highlights the achievement of the first ever national money laundering and terrorist financing risk assessment (NRA) of the Lao PDR, and the adoption of the action plan to address its deficiencies that appear in the outcome of the NRA. In addition, the meeting also took note of current progress in implementing the AML/CFT task in particular the growth mechanism of cooperation among the investigation agencies, and increase collaboration between reporting agencies supervisor and AMLIO in terms of data collection and access to information within relevant agencies toward criminal proceedings of predicated offence that related to money laundering. Together with continued widening cooperation network among related competent authorities, as well as continued improving capacity building to staffs related to combat money laundering and financing of terrorism. Furthermore, the meeting also approved the 2019 AML/CFT action plan of the Lao PDR in preparing for the forthcoming 2rd round of mutual evaluation on AML/CFT to be conducted by the APG reviewer team during year 2020-2021.
Anti-Money Laundering Intelligence Office (AMLIO) of the Lao PDR held the workshop on “Technique of Disseminating Suspicious Transaction Report (STR) and Cash Transaction Report (CTR) via Online System for Reporting Entities (REs)” on December 18, 2018 at Banking Institute, which chaired by Mr. Chindamay VILAYHONGS, Deputy Director General of AMLIO. The purpose of this meeting is to disseminate of manuals and training related to new form for 42 commercial banks in order to build comprehensive, convenience, security and prompt. In addition, AMLIO will continue to disseminate to other REs other than banking sector.
On 1st November 2018 in Vientiane at 10:00 AM. AMLIO conducted U.S. government Hand Over ceremony to deliver information technology and equipment to Anti-Money Laundering Intelligence Office (AMLIO) of the Lao PDR. In the ceremony had welcome U.S. Ambassador Rena Bitter and Ms. Ekaterina Koposhilko from the U.N. Office of Project Services (UNOPS) and Madame Phengsy Phengmuong, Director General of AMLIO. The donated equipment consisted of computers, tablets, and printers to improve AMLIO’s IT capabilities and facilitate in anti-money laundering and countering financing for terrorism. The project is implemented by UNOPS, and it supports international training for AMLIO technical staff, providing legal support for the drafting of decrees and regulations, and providing consulting services of an IT expert who specializes in IT systems for Financial Intelligence Units such as AMLIO.
The official visit of AMLIO delegation to the Cambodian of Financial Intelligence Units (CAFIU) on 18th -22nd September 2018, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia; the purpose of this visit was to share experience on AML/CFT IT development such as: IT infrastructure, analysis system as well as other technology to meet with international standard.
The Federal Financial Monitoring Service (Rosfinmonitoring) and Autonomous Non-Profit Organization “International Training and Methodology Center for Financial Monitoring” (ITMCFM) jointly hosted the Training course for a high ranking competent authorities from Lao People’s Democratic Republic on “Upgrading Qualification of National AML/CFT system’s experts” took place during August 28-30, 2018 in Moscow, Russia Federation. There were 7 delegates in total from various line-ministries such as the Anti-Money Laundering Intelligence Office (AMLIO), the Office of the Supreme People’s Prosecutor, the Supreme People’s Court and Ministry of Public Security attended the training. The main purpose of this event is to share the experience and best practices between FIUs of Lao PDR and Russia Federation in a field of financial investigations, analytical research and supervisory activities, discussed the state and prospects for the development of bilateral relations, and interaction on issues of the national AML/CFT systems operation.
(AMLIO, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) and Defense Institute for International Legal Studies (DIILS) held the workshop on “Investigative Technique Workshop on Prosecuting Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism” during 18-20 June 2018 in Champasack Province, which chaired by Mr. Chindamay VILAYHONGS, Deputy Director General of AMLIO, Mr. Boualy PHETSONGKHAM, Chief of Provincial Administration Officer of Champasack and Mr. Joseph Narus, Chief of INL, U.S. Embassy Vientiane. Attended by experts from DIILS, officers from U.S. Embassy, Deputy and officers from relevant departments.)
On 30 April 2018, the 2nd ad-hoc committee meeting on the National Risk Assessment (NRA) was hold at 7th floors of the Lao Security Exchange building, Lao PDR, which chaired by Maj. Gen Kongthong Phongvichit, Deputy Minister of Public Security, Vice-Chairman of the National Coordination Committee (NCC), Chairman of ad-hoc committee on NRA. Attended by a committee’s member including head of each NRA module and the secretariats of NRA up to 32 participants in total.
The purpose of this meeting is to evaluate the current NRA implementation, and seeking an ad-hoc committee of NRA recommendation and direction in terms of ongoing NRA implementation and future operation to ensure the Lao PDR can realize its action plan.
The 3rd Ordinary Session of the National Coordination Committee on AML/CFT was conducted on 02 October 2017 at Bank of the Lao PDR, Chaired by H.E.Somdy DUANGDY, Finance Minister. Attended by members of NCC, officials from line Ministries and AMLIO.
Money laundering is a conversion, use, movement, exchange, acquisition, possession, and genuine ownership transferof funds or other properties by anatural person, legal person or an organisation that knows, knew or suspects that such funds or properties are derived from the predicate offences to conceal or disguise their characteristics, origin, and location in order to make such funds or properties legitimate .
The financing of terrorism is anintentional act both directly and indirectly bya natural person, legal person or an organisation that attemptsto give, consolidate and mobilize funds or properties, legally or illegally, wholly or partially, to finance terrorism or terrorist or activities linked to a specific terrorism act regardless such funds or properties are used to finance the actual action.
Anti- Money Laundering Intelligence Office or “AMLIO” is an organization under direct supervision-leadership of National Coordination Committee for Anti Money Laundering and Countering of Financing Terrorism, and under ideological and political supervision-leadership of and receiving budget from Bank of Lao PDR.
AMLIO is mandated as machinery, assisting The National Coordination Committee for Anti Money Laundering and Countering of Financing Terrorism in implementation of Anti Money Laundering and Countering of Financing Terrorism to ensure the tasks are in order and smooth, in line with law and international standard.